Why I Stopped Hiding Behind the Camera: My Secret to Self-Portraits With My Kids

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The moment I became a mom I crossed over onto the island of parenthood, of which there is no return. It’s one of those situations we dive into and just hope everything turns out ok. I’d say so far it has. For the most part.

Being the documentarian I am, I wanted to have that milestone on camera (both times!). Maybe not in all my flashy gorey glory but the sweet moment, once my newborn reached my arms. My husband was totally against it however, so the first time my photographer and friend came to take pictures a few hours later. The second time I convinced him to let a photographer join us the entire time, and I’m so happy with the results.

birth baby t3

When I was pregnant with my son, I took pictures of my baby bump from the get-go. This time full on with a timer and tripod–a DSLR selfie, versus into the mirror like before. I think it set a precedent of being in the picture with my kids.

36 weeks pregnant

It’s fairly evident that I love taking photos of my children. Taking pictures of my kids is fun, but taking pictures with my kids brings a whole different kind of gratification. There’s nothing like having that tangible proof that I was a part of those everyday milestones.

Of course I could hand the camera over to my husband. And when I’m in a hurry I’ll do that. But usually I prefer to set up and take the picture myself, as I envision it, whenever I want just as I’d do if I were standing behind the camera.

Taking self-portraits is not hard once you have a system down. I like to use one of my DSLRs with wifi. Usually my Canon EOS Rebel T6i or my EOS 70D.

In order to take the photo I use either a flat surface around eye level when we’re sitting, or I’ll set up my tripod if I have more time. I think it’s easier to show you versus tell you how I do it, so here a quick video tutorial for how I make it work. Please excuse my rambunctious kiddos.

As mothers, many of us try our best to take pictures of our kids to remember their childhood, but it’s also important that we take the time to get in front of the camera as well. Even if we don’t have our makeup on, or are still in our yoga pants. It’s the day-to-day milestones I’d like to remember being a part of. Like finishing Harry Potter with my daughter.

How to take a DSLR selfie: Self portrait photography ideas and ways to get in the picture with your kids. Remote DSLR tutorial.

Goofing off in the backyard together.

How to take a DSLR selfie: Self portrait photography ideas and ways to get in the picture with your kids. Remote DSLR tutorial.


Or morning snuggles.

How to take a DSLR selfie: Self portrait photography ideas and ways to get in the picture with your kids. Remote DSLR tutorial.


Taking the time to be in a few frames will be something I never regret and you won’t either.

When choosing what camera to start with I highly recommend getting one with Wi-Fi! Here’s a quick list of Canon DSLRs with Wi-Fi. The ones highlighted are cameras I used for photos in this post:

Canon EOS Rebel T6
Canon EOS Rebel T6i
Canon EOS Rebel T6s
Canon EOS 70D
Canon EOS 80D
Canon EOS 6D

How to take a DSLR selfie: Self portrait photography ideas and ways to get in the picture with your kids. Remote DSLR tutorial.

*I love capturing milestones and special moments with my kids, which is why I partnered with Canon on this post. All opinions are my own.

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  1. right, im trying to work on that too. i know down the line my kids will appreciate it. i sure apppreciate the few pics my mom took 🙂

    1. Hmmm. Now that I think about it, I wonder if you could use a wifi card. Let me look into that for you!

      As for focusing, I just tap the screen on my face or wherever I want it to focus! It’s so easy!

  2. I am so guilty of this and it’s something I definitely need to change. I just got a new camera with tripod and remote, so now I can be in pics too!

  3. I love the wifi on my camera! I’m still bad at using the app discretely though! My kids are too impatient and done. I should really practice alone! I do use my iPhone to get in the photo often now. I hate how few photos there are of me with my older kids as little ones. Just lots with a Dad who is rarely a part of their lives anymore 🙁

  4. Love this post!!! I think those pictures are something you will always treasure, but also something your children will treasure for years and years to come! So often the parents are the ones documenting but not including themselves in the documentation. – Katy

  5. With four kids I am notoriously snapping photos of them while hiding from the camera myself. It wasn’t until I took my daughter to the “mom and daughter spa” and I got my photo snapped with my middle daughter did I realize how important it was to her that I was in her photo. Quite the eye opening experience!

  6. Love your pics and this post!! Before reading this, I would have definitely thought someone eles was taking the pictures.

    I will definitely have to add a tripod to my list of things to get for my new camera.

  7. It’s nice that you were able to convince your husband, since you are so happy with the outcome. Your “cross over onto the island of parenthood” has produced some beautiful results.

  8. T6i was already on my wishlist for my tax refund, now I’m even more excited about it though since my son wants to make YouTube videos with me. Are you able to control the video mode pretty well from the phone as well?

  9. omg omg omg! I’m so excited to try this! I have the 80D and I had NO IDEA I could control it from my phone!!! Thank you! — And I ADORE the photo of your little girl kissing your cheek — you are both so beautiful.

    1. Yay!! I’m so so glad you found this post! And thanks for your sweet compliment! Yes, give it a try and let me know if you have any questions!

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